The Attorney General (AG) has made erroneous facts on the appeal against the High Court ruling made on Friday by Judge John Chirwa which gave the registrar of political parties seven days to register UTM as a party effective September 21, 2018, it has been observed.
Legal experts critiquing the documents filed by Attorney General through Neverson Chisiza, Senior State Advocate, in the notice of appeal, that it has the wrong date (2017) yet there was no UTM registration case in 2017 but this year.
The Attoreny General is appealing a High Court judgment in the High Court instead of The Supreme Court of Appeal, it has been observed
Only a party to the proceedings (in this case the Registrar who rejected UTM registration) can appeal and not his lawyer or a third party, legal experts noted.
Another legal supremo observed that the appeal should be an application and not a summons.
Consequences of these errors may lead the court to throw out the appeal document as it is irregular (the irregularity being a summons instead of an application).
The court can also adjourn the proceedings until the errors are rectified. If adjourned costs will be awarded to UTM’s lawyers.
“Consequently poor drafting of legal documents impacts negatively on lawyers, further can ruin the reputation of the entire legal profession. Poor legal drafting weakens credibility and wastes the time of judges, other lawyers and clients, thereby wasting money,” observed a legal scholar.
Laywer for UTM in the matter, Michael Goba Chipeta, confirmed being served with the notice of appeal with fundamental errors.
However, Chipeta said the party will continue with its plans to register the party because the notice of appeal on its own cannot change the ruling by High Court which described the decision by the registrar of Political Parties to reject UTM’s application as “unreasonable and unjustifiable” and consequently ordered its registration within seven days.
“We have been served with the notice of appeal. We are going to respond to the appeal. But the notice of appeal on its own does not change the judgment of the High Court. So, the judgment is still in force and we expect the registrar [of political parties] to comply.
“We have also been served, in addition to the notice of appeal, an application by the Attorney General to stay execution of the judgment of the High Court,” said Chipeta.
Chipeta said the court for appeal will have to look at the erros of Attorney General’s appeal as some of the substantive issues but refused to discuss the matter in the media, sying they were “meritorious issues.”
The State has appealed on the grounds that the judge erred in law and fact by finding that UTM was not accorded an opportunity to be heard as if the UTM was being accused of wrong doing and that the judge misdirected himself at law and fact in finding that the registrar in exercising his statutory duties should have restricted himself to what was presented to him and pay a blind eye to what is in the public domain among other things.
UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said in a statement seen by Nyasa Times that movement is not moved by the application made by the State on the ruling.
“As things stand, there is nothing at law stopping the Registrar of Political Paries from registering UTM as a political party by Friday 9 November 2018,” said Malunga.
Meanwhile, sources at the Judiciary have told Nyasa Times hat Judge John Chirwa is living dangerously for his ruling in favour of UTM and that he is targeted for ‘enemy action’ by the regime.
Among other things, the judge faces smear campaign and attacks. He is under surivellance from State spies.
Asked to comment on the feared threat to independence of the Judiciary, a legal scholar said: “Denial can be an incurable disease.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :